Apple Kicks Off Green Initiative with High Hopes for Change

Changing the terms of the debate is Apple's goal this time around

Apple has updated its Environment section, where visitors of it website can get the full scoop on the company’s environmental footprint. On the updated section, visitors can find out what the Mac maker is doing to lessen its impact on the planet, and even our own, as consumers.

BusinessWeek cites Apple executives as saying that the consumers' use of Apple products accounts for 53% of the company's total 10.2 million tons of carbon emissions annually, whereas just 38% of the emissions occur as the products are manufactured in Asia. Just 3% comes from Apple's own operations, according to the report.

As such, Apple wants to change the rules of the game a bit, forcing Greenpeace and other green organizations to give the company fair credit. The company behind the Mac OS suggests that, by making products less power-hungry, Apple’s impact on the environment is substantially reduced. Apple believes its efforts are not being tracked accurately, although the company hasn’t been very transparent in providing information about its activity in recent years.

"A lot of companies publish how green their building is, but it doesn't matter if you're shipping millions of power-hungry products with toxic chemicals in them," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview. "It's like asking a cigarette company how green their office is."

The iconic CEO asserted that it was more important to deliver results than to make promises. According to BusinessWeek, Jobs noted in the interview that Apple was the first computer maker to phase out CRT monitors across its entire line of products because they contained lead.

Softpedia note

Clearly, that wasn’t the main reason for ditching CRTs, but the presence of lead in these devices has clearly been a factor in their extinction at Apple.

"I thought Greenpeace was being very unfair with us at the beginning, and that they were using us to get visibility," Jobs added. "To have people saying we didn't care and that we were callous in this area was very painful—and untrue."

Lastly, Apple argues that it's time to examine the environmental impact in a broader manner now, more than ever. Jobs claimed that organizations such as Greenpeace should look at how energy-hungry tech companies’ products were. Apple’s COO, Tim Cook, chimed in saying, "We're not being intellectually honest with ourselves if we don't deal with the products that we make."

How do you regard Apple's new initiative?

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